Photo Essay: The Waters of Chiapas at Misol-Ha and Aguas Azul

by Ekua on September 5, 2011 in captured on memory card,Mexico,the natural world

Water is a theme of the visually and physically saturated state of Chiapas. Even more so in the summer rainy season I visited it in. There are days when the water leaves you sighing because it never seems to stop surging from the sky. But in a state of both tropical and highland rainforests that contains an abundance of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, you always have to appreciate what the miraculous substance creates.

This is part one in a three part series of photo essays that will highlight the waters of Chiapas: bodies of water, the exponential shades of green vegetation that the water nourishes, and a few animals that feed on what the water provides and produces.


Misol-Ha was a surprise. When I signed up for my Palenque day trip, I relegated it to “some random waterfall we have to stop at before we visit Agua Azul” status. But it wasn’t just an add on or a way to break up the drive between Palenque and Agua Azul, it turned out to beautiful place that stood on its own.

The highlight of the waterfall is the way it pours off the side of the cliff rather that flowing down it. So you can walk behind it and see the streams of water plunging from above like a powerful, gigantic outdoor shower:

Agua Azul

When you look at the following photos, you might think that this place should be called Agua Marrón (Brown Water) rather than Agua Azul (Blue Water). But it’s not a misnomer, there are times when this water is actually a clear turquoise blue color. It can turn brown like this when it rains.

As soon as we arrived, it started to sprinkle and then eventually pour. This didn’t stop most of us from climbing to the top and stopping at each level. In fact, it seemed somehow appropriate to get soaked in a heavy tropical rainstorm at this series of mighty cascading waterfalls. I’ve only experienced one of the two, but I’m guessing that in different ways, Agua Marrón is just as magnificent as Agua Azul:

Other posts in this Series:
Part 2
Part 3

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith September 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm

So pretty! I love that tiny little crab. That brown water looks like its moving really fast


Ekua September 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thanks! The waterfalls at Agua Azul are pretty powerful. There’s a calm spot to go swimming at the top, but other than that, it’s not recommended to get in.


Jackie September 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

God that’s awesome. I’ve never seen a water fall in real life, I don’t think (that would probably be something I would remember, right?), and these pictures make me want to go NOW. The scenery is beautiful and so are your photography skills!


Ekua September 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Thanks, Jackie. I’ve seen quite a few waterfalls and I always think it’s pretty awesome to water pouring off the side of a cliff!


Joy September 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Just discovered your lovely photo essay when I googled San Cristobal, recalling a trip a took there some 20 years ago. I can confirm that the water of Agua Azul is unbelievably blue at times. It was surreal to see your photos of the same striking scenes I saw all those years ago, but with brown water! I’ll have to dig out my old photos…


Ekua September 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Thanks, Joy! I guessed that it wouldn’t be blue beforehand because of what I’d heard from other travelers who’d visited it in the rainy season. I didn’t mind that it wasn’t blue – the brown gave it a different character that day. Glad that I helped you reminisce about your trip with these photos!


Sunanda November 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hi Ekua,

I’ve been poring over your blogposts the last hour, since I found your post on Ed&Margarita’s cabanas 🙂 I really like your style of writing. I have similar interests in travel and writing and though I haven’t put my travelogues in public yet, I hope to do so soon. I was wondering if I could contact you about some questions I have about my upcoming trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. Thanks and expect many more comments from me 😉


Ekua November 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my posts! I actually haven’t been the Yucantan Peninsula yet! I’ve been to Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Mexico City, so if you have questions on those places, feel free to send an email to girlunstoppable (at) gmail (dot) com.


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